I'm learning that being a Fiverr Seller is as much about saying "No" as saying "Yes"


I’m about five or six weeks into being a Pro seller now, and it’s all going well - 24 completed orders, six in the pipeline, and more enquiries / orders every day.

One thing I have noticed though is how often I say “no” to enquiries, because I don’t have the exact skills or experience someone is looking for. It probably happens to about one in every four enquiries I get - someone wants me to write about fitness or diet or travel.

Those just aren’t my areas of expertise, so I normally politely decline, explain why I can’t help, then provide links to other parts of Fiverr’s marketplaces where they might be able to find a seller that can help (Pro or otherwise.)

Just curious what other seller’s experiences are? Do you often turn down work, or do you generally find a way to complete every order that comes through to you?




I turn down work, too, for various reasons. Unethical requests (homework, miracle cures, an app that prolongs life), illegal stuff (cannabis), something that I can’t do (technical writing, editing)…


same here. I know my area and never go outside my area, choosing client and project is also one of the main task of freelancing.


I had to say no many times too. Not only for technical matters but also the attitude from the other side.

I think as a freelancer the most important thing is to focus on the projects you enjoy (no matter the reason or aspect). There are darker times, and not everything is roses and unicorns. How I see it: I try to balance the energy I put on each project + professional side + financial side. If those things are not getting along maybe it´s better to say no.


Yes, I turn down work very often. When someone asks for something outside my skill set, it’s easy to decline that job. But I’ve learned that if someone can’t clearly define what they want, doesn’t provide me enough details to work with, or insists on including way too many details for the word count, it’s usually best for me to decline that work as well.

There’s a blog post about keeping cancellations low. One suggestion - trust your intuition. I’ve learned how valuable that advice is - if my gut says “not for me” - it’s only trouble if I accept the job.


From time to time I also say no for ethical reasons too - I’m a vegan, so being asked to write on livestock business practices tends to make me say nuh-uh!


Same here :slight_smile: No Adult Content, etc. Glad to hear that you are a vegan!


I turn down someone every other day who requests things that apparently other spellcasters offer such as weight loss spells.


I actually turn down the majority of work queries which land in my inbox.

A lot of people say, “Hi, I need copywriting for my new website can you help?”

They then get an automated response saying that I would need more information and that ideally, they should also go back and read my gig descriptions and FAQ’s. After that, I either don’t hear from them again or they come back with the same vague brief.

Alternatively, I get people haggling with pricing who I just send away. In fact, when someone tries to offer to pay $25 for $50 of work I just laugh at them.


I’m constantly saying no lol. It’s mostly from people who just don’t read what my design gig offers and they’re looking for work that’s outside my skillset. More rarely I have to say no because of ethical/legal reasons - most recently someone wanted me to create something with a trademarked graphic.


Hi Paul,

This is great advice for all of us. Thanks for sharing.


There are times you can tell that you had better run and run fast just during the early stages of inquiry. Best to trust that instinct.


There are very few types of job I would turn down on principle. Of course, it should be legal but I am open to helping with things I don’t completely agree with. I have worked with a variety of religions and belief systems that are completely different to mine for example. Misleading “get rich quick” type work is an area I turn down quite often - I just don’t want to be associated with that stuff and have also found that those in that type of business tend to be difficult for me to work with.
For the same reason of the “type of people”, I generally won’t work with ForEx, Trading and affiliate marketing unless there is some good reason to.


I have not yet turned down any request. @paulmaplesden Let me just say it. (I really like your gigs) They are very expensive. I think I will try creating some PRO gigs.


I say no all of the time, and the longer I’ve been on Fiverr the more I say no. I think the first 6 months or so I was pretty much appeasing 80-90% of inquiries in my inbox just to get some traction. It was stressful, but I did get ahead a bit. Now that I have some regular buyers, and some new ones that are smart enough to figure out how to order on their own, I’d say maybe only 5-10% of my new inbox inquiries go anywhere. My stress levels are happy : )


Mostly, I said no due to the rate is way too low, just a kind of over exploitation. Sometimes I turned down for being a fake student or playing with piracy. So, if I feel uncomfort, I’d prefer to say. Actually, the no is much higher than the yes, but as freelancer, I want to be happy, it ran not too bad at all


I say ‘No’ at least 9 out of 10 times. Most of the time I don’t trust the buyer (top rated or not) and/or assume that working for them would end up in a nightmare due to poor communication skills from their side. I always direct them politely to other sellers.


I also turn down many requests because there are so many people out there who want me to do illegal stuff and also some sometimes the job doesn’t match my skills. Also there was a person who needed like a whole book to be translated for just 50 dollars.


Absolutely. Some clients are not a good fit when they don’t know what they want, or they ask 20 questions which you answer, then want you to knock 10% (or more) off your quote.

For me it’s about finding the right clients who appreciate quality and understand investing an extra few dollars is worth it for someone seasoned.

If they want to micromanage every aspect, but then don’t want to pay for that extra service, I’m gone. I’m nice about it, and I do laugh sometimes because I say no, they try someone else, then later they ask me to redo it or do their next project.

I do work hard to be respectful when I say no, but I do regularly.

I turn down at least a couple jobs per day, since I want to assist the ones who are focused on quality and value, not just cheap.

In the early stages I did almost all of them, not helpful after a certain level of experience. If they seem like a potential problem, I price the quote higher which has half of them just go away without me saying no.


Oh yes, I have had to turn down various requests. Sometimes for ethical reasons. Sometimes a client wants a video within 24 hours, which is impossible. Making a script, visual storyboard, voice over, custom illustrations and the animation cannot be done within 24 hours, and they are ready to pay almost anything, how ever I have to decline because a professional video service takes time. I can’t compromise on quality.

So many other reasons. Even though it is painful to say No and turn down a lot of money, it is usually the best decision. We are all trying to sell services/ values to generate revenue, but it is a lot more than that. You think of your values, abilities, time and most importantly the future. Don’t accept what you can’t finish. You will lose integrity, credibility and money.

You can only survive here, if you know how to say NO.